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Is my College Student Lazy?

My College Age Student with ADHD Has not Gone to Class: Is he/she lazy?

--- by Lori Melnitsky, MA CCC-SLP, ADHD Coach

------The truth is many college students are not ready for the demands of college. How can we help? We must first understand their needs.

------Let’s talk about this relationship between ADHD and Executive Functioning (EF), why? You must understand EF as it relates to ADHD if it affects you or your child.

What is a CEO of the brain?

The prefrontal cortex of the brain is like the CEO of your body. It directs you and drives you to succeed in an organized and focused manner,

Executive functions primarily refer to such brain functions that organize, operate, integrate, and manage several other functions.

In other words, they enable an individual to tackle short and long-term consequences constructively and prepare for the end results. ADHD, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, affects an individual’s executive functioning abilities. But that is something that can be addressed but not cured. about if you are dealing with such an issue.

What is the big deal with Executive Functioning (EF) and ADHD?

People with ADHD often have deficits with EF:

Executive functioning is responsible for managing one’s behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.

Thes skills help a person with designing and organizing time and balancing their feelings and actions. In simpler words, executive functioning plays a considerable role to:

· Organize, prioritize, and prepare for tasks.

· Sustain, focus, and dedicate attention to a particular task.

· Regulate alertness, sustain the effort, and process speed.

· Modulate emotions and manage frustration.

· Utilize accessing recall and working memory.

· Monitor and self-regulate actions.

While executive functioning might be related to several other mental health conditions, such as OCD, schizophrenia, and depression, it is most commonly affiliated with ADHD.

Commonly Observed Signs and Symptoms

Although the symptoms and visible signs of executive functions might vary from person to person, some commonly observed ones include:

· Difficulties managing work or school materials.

· Struggling while dealing with emotional aspects.

· Experiencing troubles organizing an appropriate schedule.

· Finding it difficult to deal with simple tasks.

You should note that these symptoms may change with time, for instance, when a child with ADHD grows into adulthood. That being said, some collateral side-effects include diminished work or academic performance, interpersonal complications, difficulty working in groups, etc.

At the same time, chronic emotions of guilt, blame, and frustration is usual in people with executive dysfunction or ADHD. Therefore, someone with such a disorder might have to invest a little extra effort in learning new things, meeting goals, managing relationships and responsibilities, and remodeling to life changes. They also need encouragement and patience.

Role of Executive Functions

ADHD impacts a person’s ability to self-regulate. In contrast, executive functions allow a person to manage their speech, thoughts, emotions, and actions by promoting self-regulation.

One should know that executive functioning skills develop progressively, one ability building at the top of the next while reaching full development at around 30 years of age. Nevertheless, children of 3 to 6 years with ADHD have been known to lag behind in the progress of their executive functions by about 30%.

Relation of ADHD and Executive Functions

There is a lot of confusion on the relation between executive functions and ADHD. Whatsoever, one should know that ADHD is regarded as an official diagnosis while executive dysfunction is not a diagnosis itself.

However, ADHD and executive functions do somehow overlap with each other. This is because many ADHD-related symptoms arise from complications related to executive functioning. Some of such problems might link with:

· Self-Control Abilities

· Paying Attention

· Multi-tasking skills

· Working Memory

· Planning or Organizing Tasks

· Considering Short and Long-Term Goals

· Being Able to Focus

· Evaluating Consequences of Actions

For more information please visit

Or email Lori@allislandspeech for ADHD Coaching packages offered virtually nationwide and internationally. 516-776-0184

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